I was deeply saddened to hear ten days ago of the death of Jörn Cann, the ward doctor in the haematology unit where I was treated for lymphoma. He was a rare human being, and even rarer doctor: charming and objectionable, foul-mouthed yet compassionate. Nobody who met him -you usually heard him approaching before you actually saw him- will forget him. He was proof that Arsenal fans can have a sense of humour, and live testament to the hope of a cure for everyone he treated. The world is a smaller and much quieter place without him today.

Blood

in memory of Jörn Cann

 

 

The nurse announces the canula.

One Sharp scratch and you’re there,

 

vial after ochre vial,

unstoppable.

 

Cousin to tawny port

your sheen’s a glossy russet.

 

You do not gush, you seep,

but would soak

 

the world

if you could.

 

You’re not much to look at:

but, spun, you separate –

 

lymph, plasma

and marrow, the very core

 

of us, telling everything.

Famously salty

 

to the taste, you seem stable as mercury.

If only.

from Riddance (Worple, 2012)